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George Osborne MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Green Box: George OsborneClick to open

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  • 17:41 Osborne grilled on claim to have halved £1.7bn EU bill PoliticsHome News

    Osborne grilled on claim to have halved £1.7bn EU bill PoliticsHome News Osborne grilled on claim to have halved £1.7bn EU bill

    George Osborne has defended his claim to have slashed in half a demand for £1.7bn towards the European Union's budget. The call for the extra cash, which followed a review of member states' economic performance since 1995, was described... Continue to article

  • 17:34 Balls: We're going backwards under the Tories, but I will cut every year PoliticsHome News

    Balls: We're going backwards under the Tories, but I will cut every year PoliticsHome News

    Ed Balls said that the NHS is going backwards under the Conservatives, but that Labour would make cuts every year until the budget is balanced. Speaking to LBC Radio this evening, the Shadow Chancellor said that David Cameron’s “attempts... Continue to article

  • 15:44 Fallon slams Labour on 'out of control' £800m hole in defence budget PoliticsHome News

    Fallon slams Labour on 'out of control' £800m hole in defence budget PoliticsHome News

    The Coalition government inherited a defence budget that was “out of control” and a “shambles”, the Defence Secretary has said. During a meeting of the Defence Committee this afternoon, Michael Fallon told MPs that ministers found projec... Continue to article

  • 14:52 Osborne announces Lloyds sell-off and Budget date PoliticsHome News

    Osborne announces Lloyds sell-off and Budget date PoliticsHome News Osborne announces Lloyds sell-off and Budget date

    Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the Government is to sell more of its shares in Lloyds Banking Group. The UK currently owns a 25% stake in the bank following the financial crisis, and Mr Osborne told MPs on the Treasury Comm... Continue to article

  • 14:49 HMT: Chancellor announces plan to sell more of the government's shareholding in Lloyds Banking Group Press Release

    14:49| Press Release

    A press release from the Treasury: Chancellor announces plan to sell more of the government's shareholding in Lloyds Banking Group The Chancellor has today set out the next stage in the government's plan to return Lloyds Banking Group ... Continue to article

  • 10:33 George Osborne: New employment stats represent a major moment in the British economic recovery On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Sky News Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne welcomed new figures showing that both employment and wages have risen over the past year. “This is major moment in the British economic recovery and it shows we have got to go on working through our long-term economic pla... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 16th December
  • 16:20 George Osborne: Inflation figures are good Christmas news, economic plan is working On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Sky News Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said the inflation figures today were proof that the long-term economic plan was working. “It’s good news as Christmas approaches that we have inflation at its lowest level for 12 years. And we’ve got low inflation, we’ve ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 15th December
  • 15:25 Updated Charter for Budget Responsibility Press Release

    15:25| Press Release

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander have published and laid before Parliament an updated Charter for Budget Responsibility. The Charter for Budget Responsibility sets out... Continue to article

  • 11:57 House of Commons Business Commons Business

    11:57 | Commons Business | PoliticsHome Commons Business

    COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: International Development questions (topicals at 11.53am) 12 noon: Prime minister questions Main business Ministerial statement: The Al Sweady inquiry report Ten minute rule motion: Women’s Refuges (Pr... Continue to article

  • 07:00 George Osborne: How to keep proving the economic pessimists wrong News

    Opinion | The Wall Street Journal source icon

    Our pro-growth policies in the U.K. are paying off, and the U.S. is reviving too. Here are three essential elements of a plan for long-term progress Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 14th December
  • 10:15 George Osborne: Using public services should be like internet shopping On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Pienaar's Politics, BBC Radio 5 Live Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said the experience of using public servies should be as efficient as shopping or social networking online. "I want to make sure that the state keeps pace with modern technology and our modern lives. I want to make sure th... Continue to article

  • 10:01 James Forsyth blog: Why both the Tories and Labour now want a fight on the economy News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    Tomorrow, in a sign of how keen the Tories are to keep the political debate focused on it, both David Cameron and George Osborne will give speeches on the economy. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 12th December
  • 17:10 In Brief Events

    17:10 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Prime Minister David Cameron speaks on the government's economic and housing policy, and announces a new scheme for first-time buyers. He also hosts talks at Downing Street with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, Northern Irela... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 11th December
  • 15:02 George Osborne: Miliband would delay paying the deficit, it's economic chaos On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Sky News Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said that Ed Miliband would delay paying off the deficit and that the Labour party would offer economic chaos. "He is delaying paying off the deficit. What he is really telling the British people is that he would borrow mo... Continue to article

  • 14:15 Economist blog: Stamp duty: Unexpected bills News

    Blog | The Economist source icon

    “TODAY I’m cutting stamp duty for millions of homebuyers,” crowed George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, on December 3rd when announcing reforms to stamp duty. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 10th December
  • 22:32 Story (3 links): Osborne: FCA will learn from mistakes

    PoliticsHome Osborne: FCA will learn from mistakes Story View links

    George Osborne insisted that staff at the FCA will learn from their mistakes and improve, following a highly critical report on the way that the regulator leaked sensitive information to the media.

    The independent report - conducted by Simon Davies of Clifford Chance - said that the FCA’s strategy was “high-risk, poorly supervised and inadequately controlled”. Four top executives are to lose their bonuses as a result of leaks to newspapers that wiped billions off the share prices of insurance firms.

    “A strong organisation learns from its mistakes and improves as a result,” the Chancellor said. “I’m confident that the FCA will do the same.”

    Chairman of the Treasury Committee Andrew Tyrie said that the errors “went all the way to the top”. He accused the FCA of “pursuing the wrong strategy in the wrong way” and that some of the errors made in reporting investigations over pensions policies were “shocking”.

    “The FCA has fallen well below the standards it requires of the firms it regulates,” Mr Tyrie continued. “The Committee will… examine whether they reveal something amiss with the standards and culture of the FCA.”

  • 12:53 Tyrie comments on publication of FCA independent review Press Release

    12:53| Press Release

    A press release from Andrew Tyrie: The Financial Conduct Authority has today published the report of the independent inquiry - conducted by Simon Davis of Clifford Chance - into the handling of an announcement [in March 2014] regarding a... Continue to article

  • 12:09 Statement from Chancellor George Osborne in response to publication of the Davis review Press Release

    12:09| Press Release

    A press release from the Chancellor: The Chancellor George Osborne has made the following statement in response to today's publication by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of an independent review into the handling of the FCA's announ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 8th December
  • 23:05 Stewart Hosie: Alex Salmond is not going to be the leader of the SNP at Westminster On air

    On Air | Stewart Hosie MP | Deputy Leader, SNP | Newsnight, BBC Two Video Stewart Hosie MP

    Stewart Hosie said Alex Salmond did not want to be the SNP's Westminster leader and would not be. "He’s not [going to be leader of the party] Alec is stranding for election but Angus Robertson is the group leader here, he’s likely to be ... Continue to article

  • 14:27 George Osborne: Welfare cuts are a price that works for our country On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | BBC News Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said welfare cuts were a price that worked for Britain. "I am absolutely straight with people that we’re going to have to make savings in government departments, so those departments are going to have to be smaller, that w... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 7th December
  • 10:00 Nick Clegg: Big differences are opening up between Lib Dems and Tories On air

    On Air | Nick Clegg MP | Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader | The Andrew Marr Show, BBC 1 Video Nick Clegg MP

    Nick Clegg said “big differences” were now opening up between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives on tax and spending plans.    “One of the reasons why I disagree with George Osborne’s prognosis for the future is because I just d... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 5th December
  • 15:48 Don Brind: David Cameron scents victory: is he kidding himself? News

    Opinion | The Week source icon

    The Tories needed a game-changer from George Osborne this week. Did he deliver? Don’t bank on it Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 4th December
  • 18:07 Sebastian Payne blog: Non-ringfenced departments face £61 billion cuts in the next Parliament News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    If you think George Osborne has been a mad axe man, just wait to see the cuts he has planned for the next Parliament. To return a budget surplus by the end of… Continue reading The post Non-ringfenced... Continue to article

  • 17:46 Story (44 links): House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut

    PoliticsHome House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut Story View links

    George Osborne has rejected warnings that his overhaul of stamp duty could cause another housing boom.

    The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted yesterday that average house prices would increase by 31.4% by 2020.

    Housing experts have also warned that the new system of stamp duty, which came into effect at midnight, could cause base prices to rise on properties which can now be bought at lower tax rates. But the Chancellor denied he was risking a fresh housing bubble with the proposals.

    He told the Today programme: “I don’t agree. I think you shouldn’t be using unfair, punitive taxes that are very badly-designed to achieve the goal of having a stable housing market.

    “What you should be doing is making sure people can afford mortgages and giving you central bank, the Bank of England, the powers to turn off the tap slowly if they feel that a housing boom is developing –that is what I have done.”

    Ed Balls told the same programme he would support the stamp duty changes, but said Labour would also go ahead with its mansion tax plan for an annual levy on high-value properties.

    “I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment... they should be paying more," the Shadow Chancellor said.

    He also labelled Mr Osborne's plans for post-election tax cuts a "fantasy".

    "He is promising £7bn of unfunded, fantasy tax cuts and hoping that he is going to dupe the electorate," he argued. MPs will vote on the stamp duty plans - which came into force at midnight - later today.

    Conservative MP Dominic Raab warned in today's Times that the new rates could become a “stealth tax” because of inflation.

    John Cridland, director of business lobby group the CBI, this morning said the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, but urged Mr Osborne to consider "more imaginative" cuts to public spending.

    "Most of what we’ve seen so far have been efficiency savings," he told Today. "If you’re going to make the cuts you’ve got to be far more lateral. If we can continue that, overall, the economy will move forward."

  • 17:42 Transcript: Lord Palumbo speech on Autumn Statement Transcripts

    Lord Palumbo speech on Autumn Statement Transcripts

      Lord Palumbo speech – 04.12.14   My Lords, the Autumn Statement goes like this.  The Chancellor stands up and says what a wonderful job he has done. The Opposition responds with a ritualistic attack. There’s no sanction ... Continue to article

  • 16:42 Labour: Response to the IFS briefing on the Autumn Statement - Ed Balls Press Release

    16:42| Press Release

      Labour press release Ed Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to the IFS briefing on the Autumn Statement, said: "The continuing squeeze on living standards is the reason why George Osborne has failed to get the revenue... Continue to article

  • 14:43 IFS warns of 'colossal' spending cuts to come PoliticsHome News

    IFS warns of 'colossal' spending cuts to come PoliticsHome News IFS warns of 'colossal' spending cuts to come

    By Matt Foster and Josh May The next government will need to make spending cuts “on a colossal scale” if it wants to eradicate the deficit by the end of the decade, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned. In a briefing following ... Continue to article

  • 14:23 John Mann: Spending cuts could leave Britain a ten-bob country On air

    On Air | John Mann MP | Labour MP | BBC News Video John Mann MP

    John Mann warned that the NHS, police and Army were under threat if spending cuts were pursued at current levels. “We have to ensure that the annual deficit is got under control, so Ed Balls, Ed Miliband are right to say we’ll get on top... Continue to article

  • 13:25 Nick Herbert: The state must shrink even if the Chancellor addresses the deficit On air

    On Air | Nick Herbert MP | Conservative MP | The World At One, BBC Radio 4 Video Nick Herbert MP

    Nick Herbert said public spending should be reduced, regardless of whether the UK had a deficit or not. "If resources are tighter, it produces the incentive and indeed the necessity to think about how you are going to deliver services di... Continue to article

  • 07:37 George Osborne: Autumn Statement means economic security for Britons On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Good Morning Britain, ITV Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said the Government’s Autumn Statement meant more security for low-paid families. “The Autumn Statement is the next part of our long-term economic plan so that families like hers have a secure economic future, that she kno... Continue to article

  • 07:04 Ed Balls: Labour will still pursue a 'mansion tax' On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | Good Morning Britain, ITV Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Labour would support George Osborne’s stamp duty reforms but insisted that a ‘mansion tax’ was still necessary.    “I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment and 95% of them a... Continue to article

  • 06:23 John Cridland: Business community welcome Statement On air

    On Air | John Cridland | Director General, CBI | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video John Cridland

    John Cridland said that the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, which was realistic considering the economy. "I think most of the Autumn Statement really pleased the business community, I think entrepreneurs will fe... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 3rd December
  • 15:40 Rushanara Ali: Tories have failed on deficit On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | BBC News Video George Osborne MP

    Labour MP and former frontbencher Rushanara Ali says George Osborne and the Tories have failed on the deficit. "Today’s budget shows that George Osborne has failed to do so by his own admission. We’ve got borrowing up to £290m in this pa... Continue to article

  • 15:14 Ed Balls: Labour will support Osborne's stamp duty reforms On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Labour would vote in favour of George Osborne’s stamp duty reforms, and the announcement strengthened the case for a ‘mansion tax’. “We will obviously have to study what he is going to do in the legislation tomorrow, but we... Continue to article

  • 15:00 Isabel Hardman blog: Osborne’s Statement is likely to get stamp of approval News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    George Osborne has delivered an autumn statement that, provided it doesn’t unravel in the next few hours, should give him very good headlines. Continue to article

  • 14:01 Summary of Autumn Statement announcements PoliticsHome News

    Summary of Autumn Statement announcements PoliticsHome News

     George Osborne is giving his final Autumn Statement of the Parliament. - New figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility revise up the Government's deficit forecasts for this year and next, but say borrowing will fall faster than ... Continue to article

  • 12:30 Gov.UK: Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement 2014 speech News

    News | Gov.UK source icon

    Continue to article

  • 10:59 LabourList blog: Today, Osborne will have to admit there’s a £50 billion hole in public finances News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Today George Osborne will give his final Autumn Statement before the General Election next May. In it, he’ll have to admit the there’s a £50 billion hole in public finances. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 2nd December
  • 22:00 Labour: Ed Balls words ahead of Autumn Statement Press Release

    22:00| Press Release

    Labour press release Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, speaking ahead of the Autumn Statement, said:   “David Cameron and George Osborne have now failed every test and broken every promise they made on the economy.   “... Continue to article

  • 08:59 Isabel Hardman blog: George Osborne’s Autumn Statement choreography makes life doubly difficult for Labour News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    George Osborne is choreographing his autumn statement week to make things as difficult as possible for Labour. Continue to article

  • 08:11 Story (1 links): £200m science hub for the north

    PoliticsHome £200m science hub for the north Story View links

    George Osborne is to announce a £200m science institute in Manchester as part of his plans to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ to rival London, The Times reports.

    The centre will have branch hubs in Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool.

  • 08:00 James Landale: Autumn Statement: A balancing act News

    Opinion | BBC source icon

    George Osborne is trying to change the subject. For months now the national conversation has been dominated by everything the Conservatives would rather avoid. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 1st December
  • 22:00 ComRes/Independent poll: Cameron & Osborne lead Miliband and Balls on economy and family finances Press Release

    22:00| Press Release

    David Cameron and George Osborne are winning the economic argument with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as voters make up their mind in the run-up to next May’s general election, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent.   People are... Continue to article

  • 20:18 Polly Toynbee blog: Economic dishonesty is the deadliest deficit of all News

    Blog | Comment is Free source icon

    Chancellor George Osborne will disguise the harm he means to do in the autumn statement, but Labour and the Lib Dems are trapped in me-too territory Continue to article

  • 20:12 Danny Alexander: No reason that there shouldn't be a Scottish chief secretary to the Treasury Press Release

    20:12| Press Release

    Speaking as one of the guests on The Agenda with Tom Bradby to be broadcast on ITV at 10.35pm tonight, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said there was no reason that there shouldn't be a Scottish chief secretary to the Treasu... Continue to article

  • 17:34 Burnham attacks Tories for 'fiddling the NHS figures' PoliticsHome News

    Burnham attacks Tories for 'fiddling the NHS figures' PoliticsHome News

    The Shadow Health Secretary has said that the country and the NHS deserved better than “a chancellor fiddling the figures and a health secretary spinning the facts”. During Jeremy Hunt’s statement on the NHS’s five-year plan in the Commo... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 30th November
  • 11:36 Lib Dems call for half of £2bn NHS fund to be spent on mental health PoliticsHome News

    Lib Dems call for half of £2bn NHS fund to be spent on mental health PoliticsHome News

    The Liberal Democrats have called for half of the Chancellor’s £2bn NHS cash injection to be spent on improving mental health services. Brian Paddick told Sky News’ Murnaghan programme that £1bn of new government health spending should g... Continue to article

  • 09:45 George Osborne: Bank fines will fund £1bn of GP improvements On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | The Andrew Marr Show, BBC One Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne announced that bank fines would add to a permanent £1bn additional fund to improve GP services. "They're not political give-aways, as you described them. I'm not going to have unfunded give-aways in the Autumn Statement. B... Continue to article

  • 09:30 Ed Balls: Tory NHS cash plan is unfunded, crisis money On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | The Andrew Marr Show, BBC 1 Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said a Conservative plan for £2bn in additional funding for the NHS, was “crisis money”. “The Conservatives wasted £3bn on their reorganisation of the NHS. So, this is a typical Tory pattern - a winter crisis and then crisis mon... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 27th November
  • 20:00 Ed masters discipline The House Magazine

    20:00 | The House Magazine | PoliticsHome The House Magazine Ed masters discipline

      Words: Paul Waugh Photos: Paul Heartfield     Ed Balls is feeling the pressure. In just a few days, he faces yet another big test of his ability, with huge amounts at stake if he fails. But it’s not the Autumn Statement tha... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 26th November
  • 19:01 Transcript: Damian Green speech to Bright Blue: Conservatives now need true modernisation Transcripts

    Damian Green speech to Bright Blue: Conservatives now need true modernisation Transcripts

    Damian Green speech to Bright Blue: TRUE MODERNISATION By Damian Green MP In some Conservative circles modernisation has followed the path of “human rights” and “health and safety”: perfectly sensible concepts which have been dist... Continue to article

  • 13:09 Transcript: Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Transcripts

    Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Transcripts

      Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, in a speech today in Redbridge, said: It’s a pleasure to be here in Redbridge. Here in May this year, thanks to the hard w... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 25th November
  • 17:01 Ed Balls: Let us all share fairly in the recovery - and save our stricken NHS News

    Opinion | Evening Standard source icon

    Next week's Autumn Statement by the Chancellor must address three key areas where George Osborne has failed Continue to article

Stories involving George Osborne

Osborne: FCA will learn from mistakes

George Osborne insisted that staff at the FCA will learn from their mistakes and improve, following a highly critical report on the way that the regulator leaked sensitive information to the media.

The independent report - conducted by Simon Davies of Clifford Chance - said that the FCA’s strategy was “high-risk, poorly supervised and inadequately controlled”. Four top executives are to lose their bonuses as a result of leaks to newspapers that wiped billions off the share prices of insurance firms.

“A strong organisation learns from its mistakes and improves as a result,” the Chancellor said. “I’m confident that the FCA will do the same.”

Chairman of the Treasury Committee Andrew Tyrie said that the errors “went all the way to the top”. He accused the FCA of “pursuing the wrong strategy in the wrong way” and that some of the errors made in reporting investigations over pensions policies were “shocking”.

“The FCA has fallen well below the standards it requires of the firms it regulates,” Mr Tyrie continued. “The Committee will… examine whether they reveal something amiss with the standards and culture of the FCA.”


£200m science hub for the north

George Osborne is to announce a £200m science institute in Manchester as part of his plans to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ to rival London, The Times reports.

The centre will have branch hubs in Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool.


HS2 'will save green belt' - Sir David Higgins

Britain's green belt will be destroyed by housebuilding unless the proposed £50bn HS2 goes ahead, the chairman of the project has said.

Sir David Higgins told the Sunday Times that a new motorway would have to be built through the Chilterns if the plans were scrapped.

George Osborne is set to announce the next phase of HS2, including a new railway line between Leeds and Manchester, tomorrow.


House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut

George Osborne has rejected warnings that his overhaul of stamp duty could cause another housing boom.

The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted yesterday that average house prices would increase by 31.4% by 2020.

Housing experts have also warned that the new system of stamp duty, which came into effect at midnight, could cause base prices to rise on properties which can now be bought at lower tax rates. But the Chancellor denied he was risking a fresh housing bubble with the proposals.

He told the Today programme: “I don’t agree. I think you shouldn’t be using unfair, punitive taxes that are very badly-designed to achieve the goal of having a stable housing market.

“What you should be doing is making sure people can afford mortgages and giving you central bank, the Bank of England, the powers to turn off the tap slowly if they feel that a housing boom is developing –that is what I have done.”

Ed Balls told the same programme he would support the stamp duty changes, but said Labour would also go ahead with its mansion tax plan for an annual levy on high-value properties.

“I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment... they should be paying more," the Shadow Chancellor said.

He also labelled Mr Osborne's plans for post-election tax cuts a "fantasy".

"He is promising £7bn of unfunded, fantasy tax cuts and hoping that he is going to dupe the electorate," he argued. MPs will vote on the stamp duty plans - which came into force at midnight - later today.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab warned in today's Times that the new rates could become a “stealth tax” because of inflation.

John Cridland, director of business lobby group the CBI, this morning said the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, but urged Mr Osborne to consider "more imaginative" cuts to public spending.

"Most of what we’ve seen so far have been efficiency savings," he told Today. "If you’re going to make the cuts you’ve got to be far more lateral. If we can continue that, overall, the economy will move forward."


Six council leaders in Liverpool have written to the Chancellor to ask him to open negotiations on devolution, the BBC reports.

George Osborne has recently announced moves to devolve power to Manchester, with aims to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ which will include an elected mayor.

Councillor Barry Grunewald told the BBC: "we will consider all options but Government must hold true to their word as George Osborne says 'one size doesn't fit all'."


Mortgage lending is still tight despite a rise in the number of approvals in July. Mortgages advanced to customers increased to 56,000, up 7% on June, according the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.